Rabbis and Alaska politicians condemn attack on Israel, pledge support

a bearded man listen from a podium to a man on a screen
Rabbi Yosef Greenberg listens to U.S. Sen. Dan Sullivan speak through a video conference at the Dena’ina Center in Anchorage on Oct. 11, 2023. Sullivan condemned Hamas’ attack on Israel and pledged support for Israel. (Jeremy Hsieh/Alaska Public Media)

Anchorage rabbis and Alaska politicians led an event attended by about 200 people Wednesday night to show solidarity with Israel. 

Palestinian militants staged a large-scale surprise attack Saturday from the Gaza Strip killing more than 1,300 Israelis

Speakers at the Dena’ina Center event mourned the Israeli civilians killed and led prayers for hostages, the wounded and Israeli Defense Force soldiers. 

Rabbi Yosef Greenberg leads the Lubavitch Jewish Center of Alaska, which organized the event. 

“We ask ourselves, where have we gone wrong? How did ‘never again’ became ‘ever again?’” he said, referencing the Holocaust. 

U.S. Sen. Dan Sullivan addressed the crowd live by video conference. He called Saturday’s attack on Israel pure evil. 

“There is no moral equivalence between a barbaric terrorist group committing these kinds of savage atrocities against innocents in a nation fighting to defend its very right to exist,” he said. “No moral equivalence. Period.” 

people sit together reading programs
About 200 people attended an event to show solidarity with Israel at the Dena’ina Center in Anchorage. Aviel Levi, in the white kippah, said he plans to travel to Israel next week to serve in the Israeli Defense Force. (Jeremy Hsieh/Alaska Public Media)

Other speakers included Lt. Gov. Nancy Dahlstrom, Anchorage Mayor Dave Bronson and Christian faith leaders. They voiced support for Israel and condemned Israel’s attackers as monsters. 

“I’m devout Christian,” Bronson said. “As a devout Christian, I am compelled quite frankly to be a Zionist. And I am. Because Israel is for Jews. And Jews are for Israel. And Israel has the right to defend itself.” 

people in formal clothes sit and listen
Anchorage Mayor Dave Bronson and Alaska Lt. Gov. Nancy Dahlstrom listen to Jewish religious leaders speak at the Dena’ina Center. Bronson and Dahlstrom pledged their support for Israel and condemned Hamas’ attacks on Israel. (Jeremy Hsieh/Alaska Public Media)

NPR reports that Israel’s retaliatory air strikes in Gaza have killed more than 1,000 people, with more than half women and children. 

Michael Patterson, an organizer with the Party for Socialism and Liberation Anchorage, called for a demonstration in Delaney Park this past Sunday in support of Palestine. He said a handful of people attended the event. He described Saturday’s attack as a “counter-offensive against the Israeli apartheid regime.” 

Violence between Israel and Gaza escalated Wednesday. 

Jeremy Hsieh covers Anchorage with an emphasis on housing, homelessness, infrastructure and development. Reach him at jhsieh@alaskapublic.org or 907-550-8428. Read more about Jeremy here.

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